Sunday, February 03, 2008

I Went Home. I Am Home.

It was totally unexpected that after two weeks of being back and surrounded by the sights, sounds, smells, and flavors of everything I had grown up with and known until my early thirties, I was suddenly attacked by pangs of what I can only call homesickness. I wanted to go back to my garden, my sewing room, my writing area; to wake up to the call of wild birds and go to sleep to the sound of nothing at all that you can only find in the deep country; to cook in my tiny kitchen dishes that mix rabbit with soy sauce and call it fusion; to chase my cat all over the property to get her to come home for her before-sundown curfew. I usually hate long-haul flights, but I was content settling into my Cathay Pacific airplane seat last 31 January. Final destination: Paris. Then a TGV ride to where I now type this.

Not that I don't love the Philippines. I do, and deeply; convinced that one day not very far off into the future I will go back and make myself a garden of plants with big, fat leaves and vibrantly colored tropical flowers. It's just that home is where you make your life, and right now that is--though it would have semed improbable just two years ago--here, in this country, where if I don't pay attention I still make embarrassing mistakes like say "fuck" (baiser) when I really mean to say "lower" (baisser).

More stories and photos of the homecoming trip coming this week.

9 comments:

Tess said...

Welcome back, Apol! It's nice to see you are back safe and sound. Can't agree with you more as I felt the same when we traveled to the Philippines in December 2006 and got back home in January 2007.

Tess

katrina said...

It was so nice to see you again, Apol, and to finally meet Pierre, too! (I thought he was cool, by the way -- not shy, interesting, and a straight-talker. :-))

Sayang we didn't have as much time as we used to in the past to chat for hours on end, but then that's to be expected. Thanks for squeezing us into your busy sched! I wonder when we can be the ones to visit you naman?

kala said...

Hey Apol, belated Holiday greetings and all that. I can really relate to this post; whenever I go back to the Philippines I realise how all this moving around has scattered my heart in different places, and that my concept of home keeps on changing :D Can't wait to see your pics though. Did you get to visit CubaoX?

PS. I don't have a blog anymore, bummer... deleted by spam!

rcloenen-ruiz said...

That's the dividedness that exists within every migrant (I think). That missing home when you are in your adopted country and that missing "home" when you are back again.

BTW, would you be open to doing an interview for Munting Nayon? I'll leave my email address on here and will keep my fingers crossed hoping you'll say yes.

Thanks.

Rochita
my email add:
janchie at wanadoo dot nl

haze said...

Welcome back to you sewing writer :D & belated Happy New Year na rin ! We are always torn between two beautiful worlds and cultures anyhow, that makes our life more exciting! I will be glad to hear more about your Philippine Experience, the food, anecdote and everything :D! Have you seen the Asia Mall ? AND DON'T FORGET THE PICTURES LOLA !

Katrina said...

I forgot to ask: did you get to try pritchon? :-)

writerinresidence said...

...sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee's baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack! FINALLY!

La Pomme said...

Hey, TESS! You have a new blog, that's great. You had to erase the first one because of too much personal info? Sheesh, then what about my blog???

KATRINA, yeah, plus I didn't want to keep the borrowed driver waiting. When you come on over, will have more time to chat. And no, ate lots of lechon, but slept through the Salcedo Village market and totally missed the pritchon :(

Hey, KALA, I thought you were being censored by the Qatar government for talking about missing pork too much :) Shall e-mail you.

Hi, RCLOENEN-RUIZ, will e-mail you too.

HAZE, yes, yes, the pictures, wait lang :)

NOELLE, yeeeesssss ssssshhhhheeee eeeeeeeeezzzzzzzzz!

Arashi-KIshu said...

hay, just got back from Pinas, and I know what you mean, sister.